Sep. 11, 2012 at 3:26 PM ET
According to a patent filed by Microsoft, it looks like the video games of the future could take over our entire living rooms — holodeck style.
Microsoft has filed a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for "an interactive computing system configured to provide an immersive display experience." That immersive display experience means that the games you play would be projected on all four walls of your living room.
How would this work? For a sneak peek, see the images above and below, which Microsoft submitted to the patent office.
Microsoft summarizes what it's working on like this: "An immersive display environment is provided to a human user by projecting a peripheral image onto environmental surfaces around the user. The peripheral images serve as an extension to a primary image displayed on a primary display."
What that means is, while the player is focused on the primary display — both the TV and the wall in front — "they may be aware of an approaching video game enemy" from the images displayed on the surfaces around them, reads the patent. Meanwhile, "the user may turn around and observe an enemy sneaking up from behind."
The lengthy patent submission says the system would include: an "interactive computing system" (i.e. a game console), an "environmental display device" (for projecting the images on the walls around you), a "depth camera" and a "user tracking device" — the latter of which refers to the Kinect-looking gadget pictured in the top image.
Meanwhile, according to the patent submission, 3-D headgear may (or may not) also be used with the system.
How far off in the future we might see this new gaming experience isn't clear; nor is it clear whether this is a project Microsoft is working on in conjunction with its next home game machine. But the patent filing has certianly added fuel to the rumors already flying around that yet-to-be-revealed machine — which has been dubbed the Xbox 720.
One thing is for sure, Microsoft is very interested in finding more immersive ways for you to experience your video games. Earlier this year, documents were leaked that purported to show off Microsoft's new game machine as well as the next generation of Kinect — a system that would make use of augmented reality glasses.
And Microsoft's not alone. The Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles (see video below) have been gaining a lot of buzz and a lot of support in the gaming community. Meanwhile, these students are working on a holodeck project of their own.
After all, who doesn't want to live the holodeck dream?
— Via Patently Apple
Winda Benedetti writes about video games for NBC News. You can follow her tweets about games and other things on Twitter here @WindaBenedetti, and you can follow her on Google+. Meanwhile, be sure to check out the IN-GAME FACEBOOK PAGE to discuss the day's gaming news and reviews.